Bartering may conjure up images of back-alley deals or smoke-filled rooms, but bartering is a very popular, mainstream way to save money. You can exchange unwanted items like toys, games, baby items and DVD’s and offer your services in exchange for something you need. Did you know that if you exchange like-priced items that there is no income tax involved? (I am not a tax-expert so please check this out with your tax advisor.)
Consider forming a bartering group with your friends, neighbors, clubs or place of worship. You can offer your services for cleaning, yardwork, child or elder care, errands, bookkeeping, handyman services, even organize photo albums or help de- junk for a garage sale.
Many professional people such as dentists, chiropractors and accountants are already part of professional bartering organizations and may be interested in bartering for your services. You can use Facebook, Linked-in or an email blast to promote your group.
Two popular online bartering groups are Swap Treasures and Favorpals. With Swap Treasures, you can swap, barter, buy or sell goods and services. Swap Treasures is free to sign up and to post items. The site also allows members to attach their eBay id number to their account which lets members see eBay feedback ratings and browse all additional items that members have for sale on eBay.
With Favorpals, you can trade your skills, connect with other skilled people, offer your expertise and have a secure conversation regarding your exchange. Anyone can join for free. Recent “favors” on their website, organized by region of the country include a personal trainer looking for house cleaning services, cooking in exchange for Spanish tutoring, and exchanging music lessons for car repair. You can search by location and category. You can also review recent exchanges to see what others are trading for. According to their website, “Favorpals is dedicated to the belief that human beings can better serve each other through a spirit of collective cooperation.”
BizXchange is a member-based association where members exchange products and services with other members and BizXchange is the record keeper providing monthly statements and record keeping. this service allows companies to preserve cash flow while obtaining the products and services that your business may need. An example is a restaurant exchanging printing for dining credits. BizXchange charges a commission on the transactions, ” pennies on the dollar” according to their website.
Here are some links to other articles I have written about bartering, auctions, swapping and great free stuff:
Bidding for Good – Charitable Auction Site
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